Formed in Dublin in 2008, the alternative rock four-piece Funeral Suits have gone on to write and record some of the most compelling music in today’s diluted climate. Announcing earlier this month, the band confirmed that after they release their new and final full-length album ‘Islands Apart’, they will be closing the book on Funeral Suits.
But before each member rides off into the sunset and goes their separate way, we spoke to Mik McKeogh from the band about overcoming obstacles, resolution and creativity.
It was announced recently that Funeral Suits are parting ways after the release of the new album, whilst this is a reflective and bittersweet time for all hearing the news, we can all feel fortunate and appreciative of the music that the band has given us over the years. How’s everyone in the group feeling right now?
We are are all a little sore naturally. None of us wanted the band to end. It was a tough decision but the right one.
Earlier in the year, Funeral Suits released the superb ‘Tree Of Life’ EP, your first batch of new material in four years. What were the circumstances that led to the long gap between releases?
We were just taking our time in getting the tracks right, that’s all. We were working on a lot of material and it was important to us…at some point it became hard to choose what course to go on because there were a lot of choices…but we got to learn some things.
You’ve said that you wrote all the new material separately, with each member of the band living in different cities. How did this work logistically?
I guess with the way music technology is today it has taken a lot of barriers away. You can record at home and share files online. Plus we were really together physically quite frequently as much or more than most bands I would imagine.
Did you find this new approach to music making strengthened, if not tested, your creativity and how you work together as a unit?
In the press release, you mention that the new material took form in the surroundings of “busy streets, sounds of life…cold, noisy industrial warehouses…the wild Atlantic, Zen forests…talking to strangers, the rhythm and sights of the world passing by.” So did these interactions, landscapes and experiences all feed into the core of the new record?
Yes. The record is very much a reflection of the simple things we experience in our daily lives.
The title of the upcoming album is ‘Islands Apart’, does a feeling of disconnection run through the new songs or it the title more related to personal circumstances?
I guess with the title Islands Apart it is more about overcoming disconnection. We ourselves were born on an island. We live on a planet awash in a sea of space. I’m sure we all encounter situations where communication is difficult in our daily lives, either by feeling stunted in our own communication, or meeting people who it is apparent they are locked behind their own four walls. It’s just saying let’s have a positive go with what we have and overcome barriers rather than creating more barriers to ourselves.
Was ‘Islands Apart’ an easy record to make?
In retrospect, it was a hard process…I think the most difficult thing wasn’t the writing but making collective decisions on what to do.
What has the whole journey of being in this band taught you about yourself and the world?
For sure, we have learned lessons. Too many to answer here.
Your music videos have always been good talking points, has the band always been an integral part in thinking up the treatment for the video’s?
We’ve been involved but the credit really must go to the directors. We have been exceptionally fortunate to work with some great creative people.
What’s the plan going forward, for life after Funeral Suits?
We’ll all take a little step back individually and figure that out I guess.
Funeral Suits’ sophomore album ‘Islands Apart’ will be released on 25th November, via Rubyworks. Pre-order on iTunes here.